The bronchiolitis epidemic, which is hitting French babies this year in an unprecedented way for ten years, has continued at a high level in recent days, health authorities detailed on Wednesday.
Last week, elapsed on November 27, was marked by a “continued increase in emergency room visits and hospitalizations for bronchiolitis in children under two years of age in metropolitan France”, summarized the French public health agency. in a weekly report.
“The intensity of the epidemic (is) particularly marked on the whole of the metropolitan territory and in Guadeloupe”, she insisted.
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Common and highly contagious, bronchiolitis causes babies to cough and have difficult, rapid, wheezy breathing.
If it is distressing for young parents, it is most of the time benign.
In some cases, it may require a visit to the emergency room, or even hospitalization.
This epidemic, on an unprecedented scale for ten years, has hit pediatric emergencies plunged into a crisis linked to unsatisfactory working conditions and a lack of staff.
The peak of the epidemic “towards the weekend”
Last week, more than 3,000 children were hospitalized for bronchiolitis, an increase of 16% compared to the previous seven days.
This represents more than half of hospitalizations for babies under two years old.
Under pressure, the Minister of Health launched a national emergency plan three weeks ago, says ORSAN, planned for exceptional health situations.
Bronchiolitis: "Our 6-month-old baby had no place in intensive care in Ile-de-France"
The epidemic could however bend in the coming days, according to the National Union of French Pediatricians (SNPF), which brings together specialists practicing outside the hospital.
"We expect the peak towards the end of the week," said Dr. Brigitte Virey, president of the SNPF, on Monday.